Bethlehem Press

Wednesday, April 1, 2020
press photo by theresa o’brienBASD board members Craig Neiman and Emily Schenkel discuss the district’s equity policy work. Schenkel asked Dr. Roy about the district’s gifted identification process, particularly as it pertains to lower-income students. Although 60 percent of BASD students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch based on income, only 19 percent of students identified as gifted are press photo by theresa o’brienBASD board members Craig Neiman and Emily Schenkel discuss the district’s equity policy work. Schenkel asked Dr. Roy about the district’s gifted identification process, particularly as it pertains to lower-income students. Although 60 percent of BASD students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch based on income, only 19 percent of students identified as gifted are

Powergy devices proposed Improve energy efficiency in four district buildings

Monday, January 20, 2020 by Theresa O’Brien Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

On Jan. 13, Chief Facilities Officer Mark Stein presented the BASD school board with a proposal by LPG Group to install capacitors at two middle schools and two elementary schools to improve energy efficiency.

The installations of these Powergy devices – single units at Broughal MS, Donegan ES, and Fountain Hill ES and four units at Northeast MS – would cost roughly $47,500, with a payback period of just less than four years. LPG Group participates in COSTARS, the cooperative purchasing program run by the Pa. Department of General Services to ensure competitive pricing in publicly funded projects. D’Huy Engineering principal M. Arif Fazil informed the board that these devices have produced greater than predicted energy savings at Pennridge and Salisbury school districts. The board will vote on the proposal Jan. 27.

Stein also informed the board of a savings of more than $8,800 on the Nitschmann MS general construction project. The money was saved on unused project material.

Chief Academic Officer Dr. Jack Silva introduced Amanda Yeakel and Rose Smisko, two participants in the Future School Leaders Internship (FSLI). Nine BASD educators are currently enrolled in the program, which is available to district employees aiming to make the transition to educational administration. The FSLI helps the district identify and promote qualified individuals to positions of leadership in the district, as well as providing training and mentoring to these professionals. Yeakel and Smisko teach at Broughal MS, where they are both “Keys to Literacy” coaches.

Finally, Superintendent Dr. Joseph Roy shared an update on the district’s equity policy work. BASD has been examining its policies to determine which of them position racial minority students and students from poverty backgrounds for educational success, as well as which policies inadvertently have the opposite effect. Dr. Roy noted that he and Easton SD Superintendent Michael Piperato met with the mayors of Easton and Bethlehem to discuss ways to provide high-speed internet access to students from lower-income families. He also commented that the “Talking about Race” initiative, led by Director of Student Services and Minority Affairs Vivian Robledo-Shorey, has been successful in starting conversations in small groups, including a recent faculty roundtable featuring two Liberty HS students at William Penn ES. Dr. Roy will continue to provide updates on the equity initiatives.